Hurricane Michael leads to unimaginable destruction: 17 chilling photos

Storm slammed Florida Panhandle on Wednesday

By Michelle Ganley - Graham Media Group
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Kathy Coy on Thursday stands among what is left of her home, after Hurricane Michael destroyed it. She said she was in the Panama City home when it was blown apart -- and she is thankful to be alive (Joe Raedle/Getty Images).

Although the full extent of the damage is not yet clear, one thing is certain: Hurricane Michael has been confirmed as the third-most powerful hurricane on record to hit the continental United States.

At least two deaths have been blamed on the storm. Search and rescue teams are still working in areas across the Florida Panhandle to reach people who are trapped.

Florida families are starting to emerge tentatively from darkened shelters and hotels to an unfamiliar and perilous landscape of shattered homes and shopping centers, beeping security alarms, wailing sirens and hovering helicopters, the Associated Press reported midday Thursday.

More than 900,000 homes and business remain without power. An 80-mile stretch of Interstate 10, the main east-west route along the Panhandle, is still closed because of debris.

Below are 15 images that personify the aftermath of the Category 4 storm, which blew ashore along the Panhandle packing 155 mph winds.

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Debris is strewn next to a mobile home destroyed by Hurricane Michael on Thursday in Panama City, Florida. The hurricane hit the Florida Panhandle as a Category 4 storm (Joe Raedle/Getty Images).

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People walk past an apartment destroyed by Hurricane Michael in Panama City, Florida (Joe Raedle/Getty Images).

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Amanda Logsdon begins the process of trying to clean up her home after the roof was blown off by the passing winds of Hurricane Michael (Joe Raedle/Getty Images).

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An American flag battered by Hurricane Michael continues to fly in the in the rose-colored light of sunset at Shell Point Beach on Wednesday in Crawfordville, Florida (Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images).

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Damage from Hurricane Michael is shown at the Village of Shell Point in Crawfordville, Florida (Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images).

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A man takes some tobacco products from a damaged store after Hurricane Michael passed through the area (Joe Raedle/Getty Images).

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Haley Nelson stands in front of what is left of one of her father's trailer homes after Hurricane Michael passed through (Joe Raedle/Getty Images).

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A tree lays on a home and car after Hurricane Michael (Joe Raedle/Getty Images).

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The wind and waves pounded the community of Shell Point several hours after Hurricane Michael made landfall (Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images).

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People look on at a damaged store after Hurricane Michael arrived. Michael made landfall at Mexico Beach as a Category 4 storm, with maximum sustained winds of 155 mph, the most powerful storm ever to hit the Florida Panhandle (Joe…

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A large tree is shown toppled onto cars and boats that had been moved to higher ground to avoid damage from Hurricane Michael in Crawfordville (Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images).

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Boats that were docked are seen in a pile of rubble (Joe Raedle/Getty Images).

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A McDonald's sign is seen on the ground in Panama City after it was knocked down hy Hurricane Michael (Joe Raedle/Getty Images).

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A store's windows were shattered as Hurricane Michael came through the downtown (Joe Raedle/Getty Images).

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A trash can and debris are spotted blown down a street by Hurricane Michael (Joe Raedle/Getty Images).

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